According to state emergency managers - Florida residents south of Tampa need to prepare as if a major hurricane is going to impact them sometime this weekend. On its current projected path – Hurricane Wilma could make landfall somewhere along the southwest Florida coast on Sunday.
Wilma will go down in the record books as the fastest strengthening storm that’s ever been recorded. Wilma’s winds increased from about 100 miles an hour to more than 175 in less than three hours last night. State meteorologist - Ben Nelson – says what happens during the next 24 hours will determine where Wilma heads next.
“Once Wilma enters the Gulf we’ll have a cold front advancing into the central gulf states and that’s expected to change the steering currents around and accelerate Wilma to the northeast or perhaps east-northeast. The timing of that front – just how fast Wilma moves between now and Friday – that’s going to all have a major impact of exactly who, if anybody in the state of Florida, is going to be impacted by this.”
Nelson expects Wilma to continue decreasing in strength. But, he says, it’ll remain over warm waters as it enters the Gulf of Mexico and still be a very strong storm.
Thursday, 20 October 2005 01:00